Colgate University

First-Year Course Offerings — Fall 2022

FSEM 159   Gender, Sexuality, and Race in Hollywood
RestrictionsNo 2025 2024 2023
Co-RequisitesFSEM 159L
DistributionHuman Thought and Expression
Core AreaNone

Faculty Profile for Professor Simonson

Explores the construction and performance of gender, sexuality, and race in and through American film, television, and other media. Using a variety of critical approaches, students examine the various ways in which gender, sexual, and racial identities are reproduced and/or questioned onscreen over the course of the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. In addition to close examinations of onscreen performances, students explore the ways in which the spectator’s gender, sexuality, and race are implicated in viewing: how do we as viewers enact our identities as we watch and listen? Underlying all of our discussions will be the question of what it means to perform gender, sexuality, and race, and how such performances are naturalized (or purposefully de-naturalized). Coursework consists of a combination of lectures and discussions based on course readings and close analysis of films and other media; students acquire the language and interpretive skills necessary to closely analyze the form and content of media. Students who successfully complete this seminar will earn credit for FMST 350 and satisfy one half of the human thought and expression areas of inquiry requirement.

Mary Simonson teaches courses on media and music, American media, performance studies, and feminist theory and practice, and is one of the faculty directors of Brown Commons at Colgate. Her research focuses on performance across media in the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries, particularly in American film, music, and culture.